Multiplication table

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In mathematics, a multiplication table (sometimes, less formally, a times table) is a mathematical table used to define a multiplication operation for an algebraic system.

Visual representation of the different multiplication tables from 2 to 50

The decimal multiplication table was traditionally taught as an essential part of elementary arithmetic around the world, as it lays the foundation for arithmetic operations with base-ten numbers. Many educators believe it is necessary to memorize the table up to 9 × 9.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The Warring States decimal multiplication table of 305 B.C.

The oldest known multiplication tables were used by the Babylonians about 4000 years ago. They used base 60.[1] The oldest known tables using base 10 are the decimal multiplication table on bamboo strips dating to about 305 BC, found in China.[1]

"Table of Pythagoras" on Napier's bones[2]

The table is sometimes attributed to Pythagoras. It is also called the Table of Pythagoras in many languages (for example French, Italian and apparently Russian long ago), sometimes in English.[3]

In 493 A.D., Victorius of Aquitaine wrote a 98-column multiplication table which gave (in Roman numerals) the product of every number from 2 to 50 times and the rows were "a list of numbers starting with one thousand, descending by hundreds to one hundred, then descending by tens to ten, then by ones to one, and then the fractions down to 1/144" (Maher & Makowski 2001, p. 383)

In his 1820 book The Philosophy of Arithmetic,[4] mathematician John Leslie published a multiplication table up to 99 × 99, which allows numbers to be multiplied in pairs of digits at a time. Leslie also recommended that young pupils memorize the multiplication table up to 25 × 25.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
2 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40
3 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 45 48 51 54 57 60
4 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80
5 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100
6 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60 66 72 78 84 90 96 102 108 114 120
7 7 14 21 28 35 42 49 56 63 70 77 84 91 98 105 112 119 126 133 140
8 8 16 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 80 88 96 104 112 120 128 136 144 152 160
9 9 18 27 36 45 54 63 72 81 90 99 108 117 126 135 144 153 162 171 180
10 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200
11 11 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 99 110 121 132 143 154 165 176 187 198 209 220
12 12 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120 132 144 156 168 180 192 204 216 228 240
13 13 26 39 52 65 78 91 104 117 130 143 156 169 182 195 208 221 234 247 260
14 14 28 42 56 70 84 98 112 126 140 154 168 182 196 210 224 238 252 266 280
15 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 150 165 180 195 210 225 240 255 270 285 300
16 16 32 48 64 80 96 112 128 144 160 176 192 208 224 240 256 272 288 304 320
17 17 34 51 68 85 102 119 136 153 170 187 204 221 238 255 272 289 306 323 340
18 18 36 54 72 90 108 126 144 162 180 198 216 234 252 270 288 306 324 342 360
19 19 38 57 76 95 114 133 152 171 190 209 228 247 266 285 304 323 342 361 380
20 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300 320 340 360 380 400

The traditional rote learning of multiplication was based on memorization of columns in the table, in a form like

   1 × 10 = 10
   2 × 10 = 20
   3 × 10 = 30
   4 × 10 = 40
   5 × 10 = 50
   6 × 10 = 60
   7 × 10 = 70
   8 × 10 = 80
   9 × 10 = 90

This form of writing the multiplication table in columns with complete number sentences is still used in some countries instead of the modern grid above.

Patterns in the tables[edit]

There is a pattern in the multiplication table that can help people to memorize the table more easily. It uses the figures below:

     →                 →
   1 2 3             2   4
↑  4 5 6 ↓         ↑       ↓
   7 8 9             6   8
     ←                 ←
     0                 0
  Fig. 1             Fig. 2

For example, to memorize all the multiples of 7:

  1. Look at the 7 in the first picture and follow the arrow.
  2. The next number in the direction of the arrow is 4. So think of the next number after 7 that ends with 4, which is 14.
  3. The next number in the direction of the arrow is 1. So think of the next number after 14 that ends with 1, which is 21.
  4. After coming to the top of this column, start with the bottom of the next column, and travel in the same direction. The number is 8. So think of the next number after 21 that ends with 8, which is 28.
  5. Proceed in the same way until the last number, 3, which corresponds to 63.
  6. Next, use the 0 at the bottom. It corresponds to 70.
  7. Then, start again with the 7. This time it will correspond to 77.
  8. Continue like this.

Figure 1 is used for multiples of 1, 3, 7, and 9. Figure 2 is used for the multiples of 2, 4, 6, and 8. These patterns can be used to memorize the multiples of any number from 0 to 10, except 5. As you would start on the number you are multiplying, when you multiply by 0, you stay on 0 (0 is external and so the arrows have no effect on 0, otherwise 0 is used as a link to create a perpetual cycle). The pattern also works with multiples of 10, by starting at 1 and simply adding 0, giving you 10, then just apply every number in the pattern to the "tens" unit as you would normally do as usual to the "ones" unit.

In abstract algebra[edit]

Tables can also define binary operations on groups, fields, rings, and other algebraic systems. In such contexts they can be called Cayley tables. Here are the addition and multiplication tables for the finite field Z5.

For other examples, see group, and octonion.

Chinese multiplication table[edit]

The Chinese multiplication table consists of eighty-one sentences with five Chinese characters per sentence, making it is easy for children to learn by heart. A shorter version of the table consists of only forty-five sentences, as terms such as "nine eights beget seventy-two" are identical to "eight nines beget seventy-two" so there is no need to learn them twice.

Warring States Decimal multiplication bamboo slips[edit]

A bundle of 21 bamboo slips dated 305 B.C. in the Warring States period in the Tsinghua Bamboo Slips (清华简) collection turns out to be the worlds earliest artifacts of decimal multiplication table.[5]

A diagram of Warring States decimal multiplication table to calculate 22 x 35

Standards-based mathematics reform in the USA[edit]

In 1989, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) developed new standards which were based on the belief that all students should learn higher-order thinking skills, and which recommended reduced emphasis on the teaching of traditional methods that relied on rote memorization, such as multiplication tables. Widely adopted texts such as Investigations in Numbers, Data, and Space (widely known as TERC after its producer, Technical Education Research Centers) omitted aids such as multiplication tables in early editions. NCTM made it clear in their 2006 Focal Points that basic mathematics facts must be learned, though there is no consensus on whether rote memorization is the best method.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jane Qiu (7 January 7, 2014). "Ancient times table hidden in Chinese bamboo strips". Nature News. doi:10.1038/nature.2014.14482.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:Popular_Science_Monthly_Volume_26.djvu/467
  3. ^ for example in An Elementary Treatise on Arithmetic by John Farrar
  4. ^ Leslie, John (1820). The Philosophy of Arithmetic; Exhibiting a Progressive View of the Theory and Practice of Calculation, with Tables for the Multiplication of Numbers as Far as One Thousand. Edinburgh: Abernethy & Walker. 
  5. ^ Nature article The 2,300-year-old matrix is the world's oldest decimal multiplication table